Blog posts with the tag: "music"

Nov
26

I’ve pretty much taken to spending my days drinking americanos, wearing thick jumpers and basking in the glow of scented candles while I study/write. Everything always seems a bit manic in the run up to Christmas, especially as I have looming deadlines.

 

So, for this post, I thought I’d something fun, and post some of my favourite things from the past month.

 

Favourite Shops:

 

I try to avoid shops as much as possible but I always have to go into Liberty, especially at Christmas. It is one of the most beautiful shops and great for buying gifts.

 

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Anthropologie is another favourite, especially for their home goods. Last time I visited I bought this Oatmeal cookie candle. It smells sooo good, but gives me a serious craving for cookies, cakes and chocolate.

 

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Favourite Foods:

 

Tis’ the season for warming comfort food and this recipe for soup is delicious and easy to make. I add butter beans, whizz in my soup maker and add chopped up Linda McCartney vegetarian sausages. Oh and yes, I’m one of those people who watches Youtube girls talk about make-up and stuff. I love Essie Button.

 

 

To satisfy my aforementioned sweet tooth I like to make a batch of apple pie crescent bites. They are so easy to make.  I used Natvia instead of brown sugar. Recipe here. Here is a pic of mine.

 

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Favourite TV:

 

The BBC are making great television at the moment. The Fall is back on BBC 2, so I’m glued to that every Thursday (or whenever I can catch up on iPlayer). This isn’t easy viewing, but it’s fantastic.

 

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Remember Me is a three-part contemporary ghost story set in Yorkshire. Just my cup of tea. I haven’t watched this yet but I’m definitely going to. It stars Michael Palin and has garnered great reviews. Catch it on BBC One and iPlayer.

 

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Favourite Reads:

 

In between the pile of Gothic classics and text books I’m currently battling through, I’ve managed somehow to squeeze in a few cheeky novels.  I’ve started reading Essie Fox’s The Somnambulist, a book I’ve been meaning to read for a while. I’m only a few chapters in but thoroughly enjoying it so far. And I haven’t strayed too far from my course as this is a Gothic Victorian novel. Also, I saw the lovely Essie speaking about her latest novel The Goddess and the Thief at the Richmond Literary Festival, so will no doubt buy that once I’ve finished with this one.

 

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Magazines. As many as I can possibly read. I have an addiction. Especially home interiors magazines. Especially home interiors magazines with Christmassy decorations. Drool.

 

Favourite Music:

 

I’ve been listening to Taylor Swift’s new album 1989 a lot since it’s release. I’m not the biggest ‘pop’ music fan but Taylor knows how to write a great, catchy song.

 

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On Sunday I went to see Linkin Park at the O2 arena. This is the second time I’ve seen them live this year, after the Download Festival in June, and they didn’t disappoint. Their energy is amazing.

 

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Dreaming of:

 

Fingers crossed I’ll be visiting my beloved Highlands sometime in January for my birthday. I really want some vegetarian haggis. I ordered some from Amazon recently and I think it was supposed to be frozen because it smelled of bad dog food and made me feel sick.

 

I like to buy the chocolate panettone from Carluccio’s at Christmas, and make bread and butter pudding with it. It tastes deliciously decadent.

 

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I am writing this on a train heading up to Edinburgh where I am staying for a research trip for a few days. I like to think I’m quite organised but ended up leaving my mobile phone at home by accident. Now I feel hugely stressed. Also, the whole thing about writers being able to write anywhere does not apply to me. If I’m not alone in a quiet room then I seriously struggle. For instance right now, the woman beside me is biting her nails. I can’t hear her doing it because I’m listening to music, but I can see her doing it.

 

I started off last week in beautiful Malta. I spent the first full day there sightseeing; my hotel was in Sliema and I walked along the coast and into St. Julian’s and Paceville. I truly relished being in the heat and the sun again, despite it only being a few weeks since summer here in England. As I topped up my tan I did my typical thing of taking far too many photographs of cats, turquoise sea and flowers.

 

I also took an open bus tour into Valletta although it might as well have been a regular bus journey as the actual ‘tour’ bit didn’t happen and there were no headsets available. I also got bitch slapped in the face by a palm tree which, after the initial shock, was actually quite amusing.

 

On Wednesday I came back to London and tried to get back into my writing routine. I get distracted easily and although I planned to write a few pages daily in Malta, I ended up writing mostly notes and observations (this would have to be for a future project though as my current project is set in rainy Scotland).

 

I managed to get a decent amount of writing done on the Thursday and Friday but I know I need to work extra hard to keep on track with my weekly goals.

 

Also this week: I haven’t started reading another novel yet after reading Sophie Hannah’s The Orphan Choir, although I have just bought Marina by Carlos Ruiz Zafrón so I think I’ll move onto that next. I have also been reading a bilingual book called Ghost Stories/Histoires de fantômes in a continuing bid to improve my French, but it’s proving quite tough as the original English is very wordy 18th/19th century texts by Walter Scott, Washington Irving and Bram Stoker. I have also started studying the Teach Yourself Complete Italian book as I am visiting Rome in December and although last year in Sicily I got by on basic Italian, I would like to get by without constantly having my nose stuck in my trusty Lonely Planet phrasebook.

 

Music wise, I am a little behind with some band’s albums but I loaded up my iTunes with Awolnation’s Megalithic Symphony, Chvrches’ The Bones of What you Believe, The Heavy’s The Glorious Dead, London Grammar’s If You Wait, and the latest releases from Birdy, Goldfrapp and The Naked and the Famous.

 

I finally caught up and finished season 4 of The Vampire Diaries and season 2 of New Girl and am now looking forward to the new seasons of those as well as American Horror Story, and the start of new series Dracula and The Originals.

 

I am terrible at watching TV shows as I rarely actually watch television – I prefer to unwind by reading, going on Pinterest or watching films. If I keep to my daily writing quota though I could always reward myself with some quality TV though!

Hello!
Heather Blanchard

Welcome. Are you a writer, a bookworm, a daydreamer? Are you still clinging on to that magic that pervaded childhood? Pull up an armchair and get cosy. This blog is my dreamscape through an enchanted forest to a world of stories and the little things that make me happy; a chance to add a dash of sparkle to the daily grind. Here you will find the whimsical, the coveted, the Gothic and the romantic. Happy exploring!

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